The Dalema

Finding The Woman I'm Meant To Be


My Truth


The following is the prelude to my novel. I began writing this when I was 19 years old. Please feel free to comment and like. With enough feedback, I’ll continue sharing excerpts.

(June, 2006)

I have a history of bad relationships. I’m nineteen. Nineteen days, twenty-three hours and forty minutes, nineteen. I grew up watching Disney® movies, dieting, trying to fit in and – most of all – looking for true love. Why? I wish I knew.

I have friends in happy relationships – ‘true love’ type relationships. I have an older brother who, I’m pretty sure, is dating the girl he’s going to marry directly after college. I know family members and members of the community who are also involved in ‘true love’ marriages and relationships. Why is this of any importance? Because not one of them looked for true love – in fact I’m sure they didn’t even wish for it. They didn’t hope for it, didn’t wait for it – I wonder if they even thought about it. Yet here I am – nineteen days, twenty-three hours and forty minutes – nineteen, and I’ve based my life on one thing; finding (as in looking for) true love. Not just any love – not puppy love, lust, love at first sight, lost love or love that’s there for a portion of your life and just wasn’t meant to be. I‘m talking about one-of-a-kind love, the real thing – TRUE love.

Actually, I might be lying about my friends, my brother and the people in my family and community; I don’t really know whether or not it just came to them. I do know one thing – true love has not come to me. In fact, I think it’s avoiding me. It might be because I look, hope, dream, wish and wait so hard for it. Either way, it’s not here. Like I’ve already said, repeatedly, I’m – nineteen days and now about twenty three hours and fifty one minutes – nineteen. True love shouldn’t be the most important, only-focused-on aspect of a 19-year-old college girl’s life. But it is – always has been, always will be – and I wish it weren’t anymore.

You’re obviously wondering about my past because what sort of life have I lived to have cultivated such an obsession with the idea of true love – ‘TRUE love’? Well to give you a quick summary of the last nineteen years, twenty days and four minutes – my life hasn’t exactly been typical, normal, hard or extravagant. I’m actually really unsure of what one word I would use to describe my life besides, well, mine. I don’t have many childhood memories. I’m not sure why. It might be because I was molested as a child. I tell myself it’s because God doesn’t want me to remember all the bad times, but I wish he would let me remember the good.

My biological father and my mother divorced when I was three. I guess they just weren’t in ‘true love’. He wasn’t a part of my life much longer after the divorce. Now that I think about things, I’ve seen a lot of failed marriages and relationships. Seeing those failures should have kept me from believing in love, not obsessing over it. Yet here I am.

Anyways, back to the quick summary that’s not so quick. My mom and the biological father divorced when I was three. My mom became a struggling single mother who worked her ass off to give her kids the basics all while going to college for her Associates Degree. I remember when she used to date. One day, when I was around five years old, a bald man knocked on the door (I say I ‘remember’ this because it’s become a bit of a family joke that I’ve heard numerous times). At the ripe age of five-ish, after answering the door, I asked my mom what this man was doing at our house. She said they were going on a date, to which I dramatically exclaimed, “My moms going out with a bald guy?!” – and it’s been apparent ever since: I’d never have a filter.

My mother and the bald man proceeded to date. He became my dad, and I love him. He is better than any father I could have ever hoped for. He is my real dad – regardless of what any documents, medical records or last names claim. My mom and my dad love each other. It’s ‘true love’. It’s what I’m looking for.

Reasons I Don’t Deserve to Date

Dating, my least favorite word in the history of words ever, of all time. I hate it more than ‘moist’, ‘crusty’, ‘crevice’, ‘splurge’ and ‘gooey’. No need to question the gulps of hatorade I’m chugging in order to choke down the feelings I have on dating – I’ve earned my right to hate. After seven years of all kinds of dating: online dating, blind dates, casual dating, bar-scene-dating, the ‘my friend has a friend whose cousin is single and nice’ dating, the ‘he’s not my type but I’ll give it a try’ dating, etc. – the list is never ending. I’ve realized after all these years, it really wasn’t them – it was me.

I don’t deserve to date. Here’s why:

1. I’m Honest.
If you ask me a question, I’ll give you an answer – an honest answer. I won’t lie – I won’t toy with you or answer pretending to be the chick I think you might want me to be, and I definitely won’t sugar coat it. I will be straight up, to the point and answer with nothing but the truth. I don’t care if you ask me how I like my eggs, what my biggest fear is or where the craziest place I’ve had sex was (omg don’t act so shocked – seven years of dating, of course I’m going to have at least one crazy story).

Honesty has no place in dating today. You’ve got to play the game; if he asks you out, tell him you’re busy (even when you’re completely, not even watching Netflix, available). If she texts you first – wait an hour to respond. Oh and don’t forget – be super vague and short with your response. Appear uninterested unless she’s uninterested, then you need to get her interested again to be able to show her how uninterested in her you are! (Yes, that’s a play off of the classic ‘Wedding Crashers’ scene). Apparently, it’s all about the chase – and honesty doesn’t need chasing. Honesty needs understanding and attention; two things that do not fit, and aren’t freely given, in today’s standards of dating.

2. I’m Loyal.
If I make plans with you or say I’m available on a specific day, I’ll keep those plans and/or that date available for you. If we talk about ‘getting together sometime’ or ‘meeting up’, you bet your sweet ass I’m going to actually assume we are meeting up. And wait – hold on to your seat for this one – if I’m ‘dating’ you, I’m actually only DATING you.

That’s right everyone – I’m loyal! I don’t have the time, energy or desire to try and ‘play the field’. It’s an extremely rare occurrence for me to find someone I’m actually interested in. So when I do find someone that piques my interest, someone who is worth taking the time to get to know and ‘date’, I like to focus on that one person and actually be honest with them about who I am and what I’m interested in. Honesty – please see #1, second paragraph.

3. I’m Genuine
Here’s a crazy thought (that might actually make sense if you fully read through points #1 & #2), I mean what I say, I say what I mean and I freaking care. Do I care too much sometimes for people who don’t deserve it? Absolutely. Us genuine people tend to do that. But here’s also a remarkable thought – being genuine means you care about the well being of another person. You want the best for that person. You want to help that person become the best version of themselves. You care about that person. Being genuine is a bitch.

When dating today, being genuine is misconstrued as being ‘too into’ someone. Being genuine might be taken as ‘clingy’ or ‘being a hopeless romantic with unrealistic standards’. When they’re having a bad day, you want to comfort them and want to understand what’s going wrong; you actually CARE when you ask. If they’re hungry or having an urge to do something fun – like, I don’t know, maybe get outside, enjoy the weather – you might genuinely care enough to pack a picnic basket and take them on a hiking adventure in the park. Whoa, hopeless romantic?!? NOPE – just a normal person who genuinely cares. And guess who doesn’t have time for that? Any form of dating in 2016.

4. I’m Old Fashioned
Now, now – I know what you’re thinking, “How can you be old fashioned if you’re talking about ‘craziest places you’ve had sex’ in point #1?” I’m not talking old fashioned like he picks me up at my parents house and I make him help my mom churn butter before dinner while my dad loads his shotgun and sharpens the shovel. I’m talking about old fashioned as in he picks me up at my house, knocks on the door (fuck the horn honk or the ‘here’ text message), and asks me if I’m ready to go to dinner. Then, another crazy thought, we sit through an entire meal (not apps and drinks) and just talk. We talk about who we are, what we like (not sexually), and then – HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS AGAIN FOLKS – he takes me home and doesn’t try to get inside my place (or my pants).

Old fashioned doesn’t work when dating today. Most ‘getting to know one another’ conversations aren’t conversations at all. Someone’s snapping the other person and tagging them in funny memes on Instagram, while the other person is meticulously continuing their left-swipe-affair with Tinder. All the while, these two people are just wasting their time and finding absolutely nothing out about one another. Sure, he’s most likely sent her a dick pic in the first days’ text exchange (why by the way, why?!?! Please sweet baby cheeses, can we please stop this disgusting habit?!), but personally, I’d like to know the color of your eyes and maybe your middle name before I know how many inches long you are at a completely-not-shown-to-scale picture of you at your ‘happiest’.

5. I’m Selfish & Confident(ish)
Here’s the big one, my ‘ah-ha!’ factor to why I do not deserve to date. I’m selfish and (most of the time) confident-ish. I’ll explain the aforementioned ‘ish’ in a moment. I’m selfish, so selfish, that I’ll want you to myself. I will want to be the reason you look down at your phone and smile. I’ll want to be someone you look forward to spending time with. I’ll, SO SELFISHLY, want to be the only person you’re dating because then I’ll know (and have no reason to overthink or second guess) we are both putting equal amounts of effort into this all-too-difficult-for-no-reason-dating-thing we are doing. Why? Because we are both so ridiculous that we will actually want to genuinely, loyally and honestly get to know one another. I’m so selfish that I’ll want to put some of my daily focus into making you happy – I’ll want to be the reason your bad days are better. I’ll selfishly want to share all the good things and bad things that might have happened in my day with you, too. And, selfishly, I’ll want to call you mine because you’re amazing, smart, cute and funny; and here I am – all of that and more – and I’ll actually want YOU to call ME yours, too!

I’m selfish & confident-ish. I say ‘ish’ because, after seven years of torture – I mean dating, I’ve finally realized what I do and do not deserve. I can honestly, with the upmost confidence, say I do NOT deserve to date!! I don’t deserve to have to lie to someone and trick them into dating me. I don’t deserve to have to pretend to be busy or pretend to be seeing other people only to try and make you jealous and chase after me to win my affection. I don’t deserve to go on dates, spend my precious time getting to know you – and allow you to get to know me – if you have no intentions of being loyal. I do not deserve to allow you to sleep with me and have all the benefits of a relationship when we are just ‘dating’.

I don’t deserve to date because I’m old fashioned and, to me, dating someone means you are trying with them – with only them – to see if the two of you could be compatible; two people who might actually laugh together, create memories together, sleep together and – eventually – fully commit to a relationship because things are going so well! Oh, what’s that? A friendship developed, too?!? THAT’S INSANE! Why the hell would you want to be in a relationship with someone that makes you smile, understands you, brings out the best in you and is one of your friends?!? Of course you should just keep ‘dating’ so they have the opportunity AND availability to potentially meet someone else.

I’m honest, genuine, loyal, old fashioned and – above all else – I’m selfish. And because of these things, I just don’t deserve to date.

– Danyle L. M. (9/8/2016)

Caught in the Moment

You look at her in awe, those dark hazel eyes

They change colors slightly, depending on the light

You stare and stare and wonder, wonder what’s inside

You get lost in the moment, she makes you feel alive

Whenever you’re around her, you’re the only one she sees

She does all she can to please you, make you feel at ease

The gaze locks you in, and you tell her she’s the one

The days are filled with nothing but laughter and fun


As the weeks start to pass you gaze less and less

Her phone calls go to voicemails and you ignore her texts

You don’t invite her over and she doesn’t stay the night

You don’t want her around, her flame has lost its light


She asks you what has changed as you force her to call it quits

She doesn’t know how it happened, you flipped off the switch

Everything was perfect for her, you played the game and owned it

Like everyone before you, you got caught up in the moment

-DLM (1.7.15)

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